Why SxSW is awesome from the moment you arrive

It’s not the weather, that’s for sure. It’s 40 degrees and pouring out today. There’s a line for umbrellas and people are paying exorbitant prices for rain jackets in hotel gift shops. Oh well.

I’ve been here a day and half so far, and have only started to make my schedule, but have already had incredible encounters with people I know and others I met for the first time.

It even started on the plane. I don’t think there was a single person on Jet Blue Flight 1263 who wasn’t headed to the nerd convention. In fact most of us knew each other.

I ran into Scotty Henderson and got an update on New Empire Builders, a collaborative venture to discover the start-ups, non-profits and companies making the world better.

I sat next to a young entrepreneur Scott Dubois, co-founder of Pidalia, a software company disguised as an ad agency because if you make stuff for marketers rather than for IT departments it plays a bigger role in a company’s strategy. Interesting to see all the ways that tech is infiltrating marketing and advertising.

In Austin I caught up with Musa Tariq, the global head of Burberry’s social media initiatives. We talked for a couple of hours about the need for better social metrics and an understanding of how to leverage likes and engagement in more effective ways. Burberry uses the new platforms as well as anyone and has mounds of data as you would expect. Further validation that the interest graph platforms are the future.

Over drinks I had the pleasure of meeting Edelman’s Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Asia Marshall Manson. I got a crash course in how social media does and doesn’t work in different countries around the world.

And finally, this morning Conrad Lisco of Co:Collective invited me to join him for breakfast and a rapid fire discussion of new business models, the future of work, and the role technology will play.

I haven’t even been to a panel and I’m smarter than when I got here.  I know more about how to counsel brands and clients on mobile development. I have a more vivid understanding of where analytics has to focus if it’s to help social marketers make better decisions. I have further validation and also a better perspective as to how the interest graph can help brands segment their communities and emerge as trusted experts. And I have a new insights as to how social media differs from one country to the next.

And to think I only came for the parties.

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pidalia pres @ScottDubois met @edwardboches on nerd bird to #SXSW: "Why SxSW is awesome from the moment you arrive" http://t.co/K3W7bsq6


@edwardboches your post is getting me excited. See, I do read your blog!